The June Bank Holiday has been and gone and that means the Women's Mini Marathon is over for another year. I have been doing the mini marathon since 2006 (with 2 years missing for travelling) and I love it every year. This year was the first year I qualified as a runner and I was so excited to collect my white number over the weekend!
The weather yesterday was the worst weather I can remember for the June Bank Holiday and it definitely added to the usual prerace nerves. I was up way to early as usual, but started the day with my usual pre race breakfast: wholewheat bagel with peanut butter and banana before killing a bit of time stretching and trying not to get too nervous.
My usual mini marathon buddy decided to sit out this year, though she did stop by the morning before to wish me luck (and would have been there at the finish if the weather hadn't been so bad). My sister decided at the last minute to do her first 10k and thanks to a lovely friend of the Skinny Doll, we managed to get her a number. She is now totally psyched up and has entered the Clontarf 5 mile the same time as my half marathon, maybe this time next year we'll be running half marathons together! ( For anyone who hasn't seen it, check out Sophie's story here)
We met up at 12:30 and tried to get into the spirit of the thing despite the weather. The one thing that I would say about the event is the closing time of the start pens, 1:30pm is so early, particularly with the weather the way it was. I was so sad to part with my coat at the bag drop. Unfortunately we weren't starting in the same point, so we said our goodbyes and off I went to the front. The 30 minutes before the start was a little lonely, and seemed to last forever with the weather getting worse and worse the closer to 2pm it got.
I was so glad when 2pm came and we were off. I started out strong and feeling good about it. My pace was good and the km's were flying by. It was around the end of Nutley Lane that I started to lag, the 4km point. I am not sure if I started out to fast or if a mental block just hit me but I powered on. Coming off Nutley Lane, I was just in time to see the leader of the pack on the other side of the dual carriage way. Cheering on all the elite runners passing by as I made my way up to Fosters Avenue was just the motivation I needed. Those women are all incredible and it really is inspirational watching them go.
The weather seriously got worse for the whole 2nd half of the race. Fair play to all the amazing supporters who braved the elements to cheer us all on. I did struggle a little at the 7km part again and I felt like I had slowed right down, but my run keeper prompts kept telling me on was on track. I was surprised how fast the 9km marker came around and I picked up the pace despite the rain and wind to finish as strong as possible!
I had originally been hoping to finish around 56 minute mark, but with the wind and the rain I knew I wouldn't do that well. My official chip time is 57 minutes 33 seconds which I am aboslutely delighted with. I knocked more than 2 minutes off last years time and it just means I have to find another 10k to hit the 56 minute goal!
I had planned to use up all my weeklies for a post run celebration, and I am surprised to say I still have 7pp left! We treated ourselves to one post run pint, before heading home and showering and hitting Paulie's Pizza in Ballsbridge. It was my first time and the pizza was amazing! I enjoyed every bite of the 2 thirds of the pizza I ate, and the brownie and ice cream that followed. I had a great day, and so glad to be there for my sisters first Mini Marathon (hopefully the first of many)!